The Scarlet Letter Essay

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Concealed Sin of Dimmesdale In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, there is a stress on the conflict with concealed sin. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is a clear character of anguish that concealed sin can bring upon an individual. Dimmesdale lived his life as an exceedingly popularized character of innocence. He kept his troubles hidden from the townspeople. He lived with his troubles and was distressed by the thoughts of his sin on a daily basis throughout his life. In The Scarlet Letter, concealed sin took a great affect on Arthur Dimmesdale through his ministry role, physical well being, and through his agonized soul. Truly, Dimmesdale's ministerial status has a considerable influence on his concealed sin. "People say, said another, 'that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to his heart that such a scandal has come upon his congregation" (Hawthorne 178). He is constantly put on a pedestal, "the agony with which this public veneration tortured him. It was his genuine impulse to adore the truth, and to reckon all things shadow-like, and utterly devoid of weight or value” (Hawthorne 145). Dimmesdale felt as though he could not let anyone know his undisclosed sin either, in a worry that the public eye would judge him negatively. Specifically, Reverend Dimmesdale symbolizes concealed sin by the physical deterioration. Dimmesdale, causing in part by his indecisive and weak personality as well as his respectful status in the town, is unable to expose his sin freely and boldly with Hester on the scaffold at once. "He hath done a wild thing ere now, this pious Mr. Dimmesdale, in the hot passion of his heart"(Hawthorne 188). The delay of confessing makes Dimmesdale feel guilty and remorse about himself, which later becomes the sources of his anguish. Guilt eats away his very soul and nearly destroys his bodily condition.

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